I’m not going to list the well-known US players, assuming the reader will be familiar with Trump, Giuliani, Pelosi, Schiff, Nunes, etc. The emphasis here will be to have a workup on each new or less-known name.
For now, I’m not going to list them alphabetically — rather I’m going to list them in order of relevance so the ones that are more in the news are near the top. If you come here searching for someone, just hit “Command F” and the search window will come up — type in a few letters and it should take you to the one you’re looking for. And if you’re looking for someone and don’t find anything, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll add that individual to the index.
(These are just photos and names at the moment. I will be making a link to a page for each of them where their part in the story is explained.)
In 2015, Shokin became the prosecutor general, inheriting the investigation of Burisma that had been begun previously. The Obama administration and other governments and non-governmental organizations soon became concerned that Shokin was not adequately pursuing corruption in Ukraine, was protecting the political elite, and was regarded as “an obstacle to anti-corruption efforts”. Among other issues, he was believed to be slow-walking the investigation into Zlochevsky and Burisma – to the extent that Obama officials were considering launching their own criminal investigation into the company for possible money laundering. In September 2015 US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt directly criticized the prosecutor general for failing to prosecute Burisma — then months later Joe Biden (now famously) lobbied President Poroshenko to fire him, which he did, in March 2016.
On 12 May 2016 parliament appointed Lutsenko Prosecutor General of Ukraine. Lutsenko was the Prosecutor General throughout the period of the Trump/Giuliani project to pursue investigations of Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and separately, Crowdstrike. Lutsenko was ousted as Prosecutor General Lutsenko in June 2019. He has made contradictory assertions; most recently he said in a September 29, 2019 interview that he met twice with Giuliani in person, and had many phone conversations, and that he repeatedly rebuffed Giuliani’s attempts to get him to initiate an investigation on President Trump or Giuliani’s request. Lutsenko claims that he would only have initiated an investigation if there was first an FBI/DOJ investigation, and if the request came “prosecutor to prosecutor.” Lutsenko told Bloomberg in May 2019, and the LA Times and BBC in September 2019, that he had found no wrongdoing by the Bidens under Ukrainian law. That said, it is believed by many that previously Lustenko was one of the behind the scenes promoters of the Biden corruption theory.
Leshchenko is a journalist and former MP who was responsible for producing the evidence that appeared to show off-the-books payments by Yanukovych to Manafort. The payments were recorded in a “black ledger” of Yanukovych’s political party that was turned over to Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU). The New York Times reports the story. Days later, parliament member and journalist Serhiy Leshchenko, held a news conference to discuss the ledger and criticize the payments to Manafort. In an Op-Ed in the Washington Post in September 2019, Leshchenko denies that there was any coordination with the Hillary Clinton campaign in his efforts re Manafort.
According to the Whistleblower complaint, Telizhenko is one of two Ukrainian diplomats who met with Rudy Giuliani in 2019. He/she writes: “Giuliani met with two other Ukrainian officials: Ukraine’s Special Anticorruption Prosecutor, Mr. Nazar Kholodnytskyy, and a former Ukrainian diplomat named Andriy Telizhenko.” Public reports of these meetings included Ukrainian and US media outlets.) The whistleblower claims they “are allies of Mr. Lutsenko and made similar allegations” in a series of articles in The Hill. The two former Soviet (now US citizen) businessmen Parnas and Fruman who connected Giuliani with Shokin and Lutsenko (see entry for “late 2018”) reportedly join the meeting with Giuliani and Kholodnytskyy in Paris.
About July 19, 2019, Andriy Yermak, a top aide to Zelenskyy, reportedly requested assistance from the State Department’s special envoy for Ukraine negotiations, Kurt Volker, to be put in touch with Giuliani. Yermak spoke with Giuliani for the first time by phone. They discussed the Trump-Giuliani demands for investigations and the new Ukrainian leader’s desire for a White House meeting to affirm continued U.S. support for Ukraine. The Wall Street Journal reported “Yermak called Mr. Giuliani to ask him to tone it down, according to a person familiar with the call. Mr. Giuliani in response suggested that Ukraine investigate Hunter Biden’s relationship with Burisma,”
Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman
Ukrainian born businessmen became Giuliani’s go-between for contacts with Ukrainians. Specifically they arranged a Skype call between Giuliani and Shokin. The two businessmen also connected Giuliani with then-Prosecutor General Lutsenko.
Ukraine’s Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor, is alleged to have met with Giuliani along with Telizhenko.
Co-founder of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest energy company, and various other companies. He was previously the Minister of Ecology under the pro-Russian regime of Viktor Yanukovich. He was the subject of a UK investigation in 2014-2015 which froze $23M but released the funds after Ukrainian prosecutors under Viktor Shokin failed to produce documentation. A Ukrainian investigation for “unlawful enrichment” was started under Shokin’s predecessor — and as with most such investigations under Shokin, little progress was made. Critics claim the investigation was moribund under Shokin, while Shokin himself now claims otherwise. Zlochevsky and Burisma eventually settled with the Ukrainian government, paying over $7M in taxes at settlement.
Igor Kolomoisky is a Ukrainian billionaire oligarch and the former Governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Kolomoyskyi is rated as the second or third richest person in Ukraine since 2006. and 377th richest person in the world according to the Forbes magazine list of billionaires. He is the political patron of the current President of the Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, and many Ukrainian observers believe that he exerts considerable control over the President.
Poroshenko is the former chocolate magnate who succeeded the pro-Russian Yanukovych in 2014 and undertook a pro-western, pro-American posture. Though friendly to the west, Poroshenko was considered weak on corruption.
Yanukovych was the pro-Russian leader of Ukraine who was overthrown by the Maiden revolution in 2014, and fled to Russia. He is considered to have been extremely corrupt.
Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU).